In 2014, after 13 years of being America’s number one fleet sedan, a redesigned Impala will once again take its rightful place as the stylish line-topper for GM’s powerhouse Chevrolet division. It’s a move Chevy fans, no matter what generation, have tirelessly championed for decades. And when one takes a close look at this awesome 1958 convertible, it becomes perfectly clear why the Impala, despite its ever broadening definition, STILL enjoys such a loyal following. Steadfast, distinguished and great to look at, this solid hunk of Detroit steel carries the trademark combination of handsome looks and rugged versatility that’s built Chevrolet into one of the largest and most respected brands in the world. And when you add those attributes to a correct tri-power engine, a durable Turboglide transmission and a correct red on red restoration, you get one incredible cruiser! If you’re in the market for a tailored classic that wraps limitless appeal in exoteric style, welcome to the large and diverse family called Impala!
Much more impressive than when it originally rolled down St. Louis’s storied assembly lines, this well-done Chevy drop-top has been transformed into a take-no-prisoners weekender that consistently headlines cruise nights. You won’t be staying under the radar with its professionally finished Rio Red paintwork, which has been correctly applied over a very clean body. There are no obvious signs of wholesale panel replacement, suggesting this has been a straight, rust-free shell its entire life. Not surprisingly, the car’s fit and finish is almost good enough to turn reflections into reality. And ultimately, it all adds up to one super cool cruiser that, thanks to its spectacular combination of color and trim, has an absolutely magnetic presence!
Speaking of trim, Chevrolet’s new-for-1958 line topper certainly did its fair share to promote the sale of sunglasses. And, as with its sculpted body, all of this Impala’s jewelry has been returned to excellent condition. At the front of the car, a one-piece California bumper props a broad stainless grille behind four clear parking lamps. Above that grille, traditional Chevrolet hood ornamentation rides between bright T3 headlights and good looking ’58 Impala-exclusive fender toppers. At the sides of those toppers, straight stainless trim spears, which visually connect the car’s front fenders with its rear fins, are molded around bright Impala emblems. At the edges of those spears, dent-free rocker guards and Rio Red fender skirts combine with ’58 Impala-exclusive fender louvers and stylish exhaust ports to lend a finished look to the car’s profile. At the top of that profile, clean chrome frames combine with new chrome mirrors, traditional chrome door handles and bright stainless wipers to frame factory-tint glass and a correct white top. And behind that top, thin stainless trim, which traces six Impala-exclusive tail lights, complements dual decklid antennas, a second chrome bumper and an optional continental kit that mimics the car’s “Chevrolet” branded trunk.
Lift this Chevy’s bright red hood and you’ll find a 348 cubic inch Super Turbo Thrust V8 that’s fully sorted and ready to cruise. A staple of working-class luxury, this top-of-the-line, 280 horsepower big block is one of the many reasons the Impala model enjoys such fantastic name recognition. And absolutely every item, from its thick coat of Chevy Orange paint to its unique bowtie branded valve covers, has at one point been rebuilt, refinished or replaced. At the top of the bright block, a satin black, dual-snorkel air cleaner funnels wind into a fully restored tri-power set up that includes three Rochester 2-barrel carburetors and a network of stainless fuel lines. At the sides of the block, restored exhaust manifolds allow the oversquare cylinders ample breathing room by funneling spent gases into a correct, true-dual exhaust system. At the back of the block, a traditional points distributor sends fire through fresh AC Delco 7mm Premium Wires. Cooling is provided by a tagged radiator which sends water past correct squeeze clamps via reproduction GM hoses. Charge comes courtesy of a Delco yellow cap battery that jolts a tagged Delco-Remy generator and a series of Delco-Remy electrical components. All the right details, including a correct washer fluid system, new decals and correct hood insulation, have been fitted between standard silver hood hardware. The car’s satin black engine bay, which is as clean as the paint on its body, serves as an ideal backdrop for the big mill’s many different textures. And there’s even a fully restored Harrison air conditioning system that works as good as new!
Park this topless full-size on a lift and you’ll find a solid undercarriage that’s no stranger to good times and weekend road trips. The car’s straight floorpans are covered in a traditional coat of oxide red primer, which perfectly contrasts its satin black X-frame. An optional 3-speed Turboglide transmission spins a correct GM posi-traction rear end that literally sails the engine through its broad power band. Under that capable drivetrain, a completely rebuilt coil suspension is equipped with factory power steering that makes turns easy and big power drum brakes which successfully counter torque. At the center of the floors, a stainless, true-dual exhaust system utilizes a primitive crossover, correct turbo mufflers and bright, stainless tips to weave an aggressive, full throttle rumble into a subdued and classy idle. At the corners of the suspension, great looking 8.00-14 BF Goodrich Silvertown whitewalls frame deluxe factory spinners. And everything from this Chevy’s stiff shocks to its leak-free fuel tank is fully sorted and ready to hit the pavement.
In the 1950s, GM was the king of design. Period. And this Impala’s correct code 855 tri-tone interior is one of the most beautiful cockpits ever mounted behind a motor. As fastidiously crafted as the car’s bodywork, the power red, silver and black bench seats are firm and extremely spacious. There’s a stylish 1958 Chevy dash that’s based in red, trimmed in brushed aluminum and equipped with chrome-rimmed gauges, an optional Wonder Bar radio and a correct factory clock. Note the car’s spectacular door panels, which carry their combination of chrome and two-tone aluminum past optional power windows to a body-matched convertible cowl. Below the seats, stain-free carpet is protected by deluxe rubber floor mats. The centerpiece of this tailored environment is an expertly restored, two-tone steering wheel which is cinched between a chrome Turboglide shifter, bright horn ring and classy Impala emblem. And behind the cockpit, a show quality trunk features a reproduction mat, a second full-size spare and plenty of room to pack whatever your itinerary calls for.
The sale of this big red boulevard king includes a small stack of maintenance receipts.
This slick 1958 Impala convertible is a first class full-size that’s ready for years of endless cruising. There simply isn’t much late 50s metal that’s nicer or cooler than this Chevy. And when you add in its desirable color combination, correct drivetrain components and rare factory air conditioning, you’re looking at what might be the ultimate collector car!